Mumbai, AUGUST 20- The much-awaited day dawned, the fiftieth birthday of our Principal, Rev. Fr. Bernard Fernandes, an occasion not only to pray, but also to sing, dance and make merry. The day began with the Eucharistic Mass thanking God for the gift of life. A surprise lay in store for Fr. Bernard as he had no inkling of his family’s presence at the festivities! Flanked by his confreres and family, Fr. Bernard made his way to the gym where the party began. ‘Showers of blessings’ rained on Fr. Bernard as he entered the gym, courtesy our school band.
A taditional ‘arti’ was performed and a shawl presented to Fr. Bernard by Sir C. Rai, Coordinator of the Secondary Section. Ms. Lakshmi prayed to God for the person of Fr. Bernard, as one of few ‘who live for others without expecting anything in return.’ Ms. Beatrice Pinto, A.H.M., gave thanks to the Almighty for the gift of Fr. Bernard. Then came the traditional lighting of the lamp by Fr. Bernard with his dear mother, followed by family and members of his community, along with special friends Rev. Fr. Crispino D’Souza, ex-Principal, Don Bosco High School and Ms. Nicole Britto, ex-A.H.M. St. Joseph’s, Wadala and
senior teachers of our school. Carlin Pereira read out the birthday address to Fr. Bernard, followed by the cutting of the cake by the birthday boy, after which we enjoyed a fun-filled variety entertainment programme.
A visibly-touched Fr. Bernard thanked everyone for making his day special and confessed his initial inhibitions at being asked to head the institution, on account of his ill health. Fr. Bernard gave the students the message that each of us is answerable to God and that it is a responsibility to go out of Don Bosco, Matunga and be the change that society needs.
We pray that God Almighty keep you in good health and that you enjoy many more memorable birthdays, Fr. Bernard!
-Ms Ashwini Gupte